Life Cycle Management

We look at the whole package: economic efficiency throughout the life cycle.

The actors in rail transport are currently experiencing growing competition between the modes of transport and an increasing focus on ecological topics such as noise immission. To be able to compete in such a business environment in the long term requires sustainable business decisions. This is the context in which we carry out research into life cycle management, focusing on the following three areas in the life cycle of the railway infrastructure:

  • Development: early identification of cost saving potentials
  • System design: integrated assessment taking into account economic, ecological and social aspects
  • Infrastructure asset management: condition-based maintenance

DLR provides support to the manufacturers of railway technolo-gy in the development of cost-efficient systems. Using system analysis, system description and life cycle costing methods, we identify cost saving potentials, support their implementation, and estimate the economic effects of innovative technology and procedures on the complex overall system.

Based on an integrated analytical methodology, DLR advises manufacturers, operators and public bodies on system design. This entails studying the economic, ecological and social impact of infrastructure measures, technologies and operating concepts. We also have tools for assessing the migration capability of innovative systems and their optimised integration into existing system environments (such as ETCS).

To improve infrastructure asset management, DLR is researching innovative procedures and technologies for implementing custo

mised, cost-efficient maintenance concepts. Because we under-stand that the maintenance of components as required by the mode of operation and the level of damage leads to greater sys

tem availability and safety. We believe that the development of maintenance strategies that take into account operational and strategic decision-making parameters forms part of infrastructure asset management.

DLR has the necessary combined expertise in rail operations, technology and business management that allows our researchers to consider and optimise the life cycle of rail infrastructure as a whole. By looking at both the technological options and economic viability, we provide an objective information base that manufacturers and operators can rely on for competitive systems and decisions. With our knowledge and expertise, and the tools we have developed, we can provide the best possible support to our partners when it comes to choosing and introducing technologies and to infrastructure asset management. The economic efficiency of the railway system is crucial for its competitiveness – and thus a prerequisite for strengthening safe and environmentally friendly transport.